Are iPods Lightning Attractors?
I don’t think that is the message that this article was trying to convey, but the news media seems to have spun it that way. Recent research shows that people talking on the phone or using headphones are at an increased risk of death from a lightning strike. There is a phenomenon called ‘flashover’ where the skin protects your internals from the electricity and channels the force to the ground. If you’ve got metal held up to some part of your body, that protective force seems to be broken.
But what are the odds of being struck by lightning?? 576,000 to 1. Your odds are better of dating a supermodel (88,000 to 1) or being cosidered possessed by Satan (7,000 to 1). You can check these out for yourself here (I’d feel better if it was a national statistics bureau, but several of these others seemed in line with what I believed reality to be).
So listen to your iPod and talk on the phone at your own risk during thunderstorms. You’re not more likely to be struck, but you’re apparently more likely to die as a result.